There are dreadful punishments enacted against thieves; but it were much better to make such good provisions, by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and so to be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and dying for it.
The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion is the thickness of a prison walls.
It is hard, but it is excellent, to find the right knowledge of when correction is necessary and when grace doth most avail.
The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.
Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
Written laws are like spiders' webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful will easily break through them.
I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
In jail a man has no personality. He is a minor disposal problem and a few entries on reports. Nobody cares who loves or hates him, what he looks like, what he did with his life. Nobody reacts to him unless he gives trouble. Nobody abuses him. All that is asked of him is that he go quietly to the right cell and remain quiet when he gets there. There is nothing to fight against, nothing to be mad at. The jailers are quiet men without animosity or sadism.
The worst of prison life, he thought, was not being able to close his door.
I never saw a man who looked With such a wistful eye Upon that little tent of blue Which prisoners call the sky.
It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.
One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people, does not suppress medical research, does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.
Before we can diminish our sufferings from the ill-controlled aggressive assaults of fellow citizens, we must renounce the philosophy of punishment, the obsolete, vengeful penal attitude. In its place we would seek a comprehensive, constructive social attitude - therapeutic in some instances, restraining in some instances, but preventive in its total social impact. In the last analysis this becomes a question of personal morals and values. No matter how glorified or how piously disguised, vengeance as a human motive must be personally repudiated by each and every one of us.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
When I was in prison, I was wrapped up in all those deep books. That Tolstoy crap - people shouldn't read that stuff.
Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilization.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Care should be taken that the punishment does not exceed the guilt; and also that some men do not suffer for offenses for which others are not even indicted.